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HHS seniors prepare for life after graduation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   

By the time students reach the all important senior year of high school, big choices need to be made for what life will be like after receiving their high school diploma.

At HHS, seniors are busy filling out scholarship applications, applying to colleges and planning college visits.

HHS guidance counselor Summer Maloney has been working with students to help them meet deadlines and prepare for life after HHS. Seniors were encouraged at the beginning of the school year to start thinking about their plans after high school, if they hadn’t already.

Every student is different. Many know where they want to go well before beginning their senior year. Others don’t know until later in the year which is perfectly acceptable.

Seniors, for the most part, are beginning to wrap up their plans, according to Maloney. The final period of each school day is spent in Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) and helps students prepare for college and life after high school.

Local scholarship packet deadlines were this week and other scholarship deadlines have either passed or loom in the near future, Maloney said.

Juniors and seniors are encouraged to take the week when underclassmen are taking CSAP tests, to visit colleges. Testing this year will be held March 14-17.

Another important piece of the college application process is the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

As an office of the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid ensures that all eligible individuals can benefit from federally funded financial assistance for education beyond high school. “We consistently champion the promise of postsecondary education to all Americans—and its value to our society,” their website says.

HHS senior Chantel Rafert said she has known for a while that she wants to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in California to study interior design. She recently visited the school and is looking forward to getting started. Rafert began the search as a junior and also looked at Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design in Denver.

She said the school in California has a high placement percentage after graduation which was a factor that helped draw her in. Another incentive is a full-ride scholarship offered to one student in each major. She is currently in the process of completing that application, among other area scholarships.

She hopes to obtain an associate degree after two years and begin working and possibly owning her own business.

Christa Durbin has looked at a few Colorado schools and plans to attend Northeastern Junior College in Sterling to major in elementary education. After obtaining her associate degree from NJC, she will stay in Sterling and complete her bachelor’s through Colorado Christian University.

Durbin said filling out scholarship applications has been difficult. “It’s really stressful because you’re doing all this work and you don’t even know if you’re going to get the scholarship,” she said.

Meeting new people and experiencing the college life are two reasons why Rafert and Durbin are excited about college.

The two are just a small sample from the class of 2011 preparing for life after high school. Their classmates are in the same boat of finishing school and scholarship applications, college visits and preparing for graduation.